Sources say that the Athletics will start exploring a possible relocation with approval from Major League Baseball, making them the latest professional sports team to consider leaving Oakland. The A's have been in Oakland since 1968, but there has been growing discontent with the franchise due to failed plans to build a new ballpark.
"The future success of the A's depends on a new ballpark," A's owner John Fisher said in a statement. "Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB's direction to explore other markets."
The Athletics proposed building a waterfront stadium in downtown Oakland at the Howard Terminal site, which would include 3,000 units of affordable housing, office and retail space, and a hotel. The plan has been seen as the likeliest to be approved by the city, and this recent announcement of a possible move could be an attempt to place pressure on Oakland.
Oakland fans have been hit hard over the last few years, with the Raiders leaving for Las Vegas and the Warriors moving across the bay to the Chase Center in San Francisco in 2019. The Athletics are the only professional sports team remaining, though that could potentially change.